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Chief Inspector of Hospitals finds significant improvements at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital

14 November 2014
Royal Bournemouth Hospital
  • Media

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has welcomed improvements in the quality of services provided by the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Inspectors had identified four areas for improvement following an inspection of the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in October 2013 under the Care Quality Commission’s in depth inspection programme.

A further unannounced inspection which took place in August 2014 has concluded that the trust has now addressed the main issues.

Inspectors found that since the original inspection the trust had taken steps to improve leadership at all levels, with a focus on improving the quality of its services to patients.

  • There were increases in staffing levels and increased support for junior doctors. The appointment of clinical matrons and support for ward sisters to focus on supervision of staff on the wards now supported planning and the delivery of safe and effective care.
  • The speed of access to diagnostics and the stroke unit had improved, although the trust still needed to review out of hours cover to ensure these patients had access to specialists once on the stroke unit.
  • Improved security arrangements meant that staff on A&E were better protected from abuse.
  • Further training had led to improvements in patient care, particularly for those living with dementia.
  • The introduction of an Elderly Care Directorate with a new assessment ward and pathways had improved the care for older people and the flow of patients through the hospital.
  • The practice of using extra beds to cope with high demand  – which were not always safe – was no longer used.
  • The complaints policy and processes had been reviewed and the trust was working more closely with local Healthwatch and patients to listen to their views and experiences.

The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was one of the first 18 trusts to be inspected under CQC's new approach. The full report is available here.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:

“Our inspection last year highlighted some real concerns, particularly about the quality of care on some wards, the staffing levels and the trust’s strategy to cope with high occupancy rates. So I am very pleased to see that our latest inspection has found definite progress, which has led to a much better service for patients. 

“At the time, we said that the impact of poor care on patients outweighed the many positive comments we had received about the hospital. It is now clear that the trust took our findings to heart, seeking external advice to help it improve leadership across all services, particularly in the A&E department and medical services, which we have now found to be much more responsive to the needs of patients.

“It is encouraging that we found that staff were proud of the improvements achieved since the last inspection, but they recognised that there was more to be done to ensure the changes were embedded and the quality of services sustained. I shall continue to monitor their progress.”


For media enquiries, call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 07917 232 143.

For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
30 May 2017

Notes to editors

In October 2013, CQC found that the trust must improve in the following areas:

  • All patients need to have their needs assessed and care delivered safely and in a timely manner by staff who are skilled to do so.
  • At all times, patients must be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve and basic care needs must be met.
  • The trust must reassure itself and stakeholders that all opportunities to drive quality improvement and quality assurance are taken.
  • The trust must ensure that the required number of staff with the correct skills are employed and managed shift by shift, to demonstrate that there are sufficient staff to meet people's needs.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.